14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2010 5:34 AM by Derek Bishop

    Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?

    Brant Williams

      Large flange pair connected with 36 bolts....  Help file says that when you create a connector (in this case a standard bolt) on a patterned hole feature, it will propogate so you do not have to re-create the same fastener over and over.


      It does not work...or at least I can not figure out how to make it work.  The help is very deficient in this area.  Here is what it says....



      Hole Series

      • When you add a bolt to one hole in a hole series, the software allows propagating bolts to all the other holes in the hole series.

      • The software groups the connectors based on the hole series in a separate folder.

      • Editing any one bolt in the group applies to all connectors in the series.

      • You can dissolve the bolt series and break the link to allow editing of each feature separately. Right-click the folder containing the series and select Dissolve Bolt Series.

      • You can restore the connector series after you dissolve it. Right-click the folder that contained the series and select Reestablish Bolt Series.


      Anyone know the trick to make this work?  I have tried patterning the hole on the bolt circle in the part 3 different ways...and it will not pick up the pattern  Very poorly implementend feature, in my opinion....

        • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
          Derek Bishop
          Make sure you are using the assembly hole series feature. It does work. It doesn't work if the two plates being mated are the same. This was reported in the knowledge base. You should be able to create an assembly hole series from a set of holes created by the hole wizard, but I couldn't get it to work.
          • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
            Anthony Botting

            The presentation is somewhat misleading. I wrestled with this for about an hour. The function works not on patterns, but on a "series" type hole (hole through a bunch of parts) - but you need to have already created the pattern of holes. So, the best way I have made it work is to create a sketch with the bolt hole pattern locations already in the sketch (points in a circle, for example), Then, use SolidWorks Hole Wizard to create a bolt hole at all of the patterned points in the sketch. Then, right click on the Hole feature in the FM tree and choose to convert it to a "Hole Series" (the PM makes you select the end face or end part for termination of the hole series). Now, in Simulation, insert a Bolt Connector in any one of the holes. At the conclusion of the command, a dialog is supposed to pop-up that prompts you to propagate the Bolt Connector to all, or just one of the holes. There is a tutorial in the Simulation Help that shows how they did this on a circular flange hole through two parts. Looks good at a demo!

            All of this means the SolidWorks feature patterning is useless to the Bolt Connector propagation algorithm. It might force you to change the way you pattern holes. I have asked for an enhancement to make it work for a SolidWorks Hole pattern feature. -Tony

              • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
                Derek Bishop

                Not sure if you have the right end of the stick here Anthony. Confusion occurs because the term hole bolt series is used to refer to two different things. In the connector property manager it refers to bolts that pass through more than two components, as you say, 'a hole through a bunch of parts'. For example a flange, gasket and flange. In the tutorial that I saw adding connectors to a flange this was the situation encountered. This is not the one that is required in this situation. The term bolt series in SW Simulation is also used to refer to a bolt connector definition that gets propogated to a series of holes created by a hole series assembly feature. According to the flange tutorial, this only works where two parts are to be connected.


                As you point out, there is a way of picking up holes created using the assembly feature hole wizard and creating a hole series from this. Not sure why you would use that work flow if you intended to use the feature in Simulation. Incidentally I could not create an assembly hole series from an assembly hole wizard.


                Would have been good if Solidworks had a tutorial on this one. I agree it is confusing. The ability to propagate the Simulation connectors to a number of holes is a welcome new feature as anyone who has done this manually in the past on a lot of holes will recognise.

                Message was edited by: Derek Bishop Changed references to hole series and bolt series.

                  • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
                    Brant Williams

                    Thanks for the replies guys...but I am still not getting it.


                    I have a pair of opposed RF flanges.  They are identical.  Why should I have to make them different?


                    Anthony, I tried what you said...along with variants of it...and nothing doing.  When create Hole Wizzard feature based on a patterned sketch...you say that there should be an option to convert it to a hole series.  When I right click...there is no such option.


                    Also, the term / feature 'Bolt Series' has nothing to do with this issue.  It is for when you have more than two parts bolted in an assembly.  For instance...lets say I had a soft metal gasket I wanted to put between my two flanges.  THAT is when I would use the 'Bolt Series' feature. If I select 'Bolt Series' with this assembly, it fails as there are only two components...and they bolt to each other.  Series = 3 or more compoenets....ie a stack.


                    The flanges are modeled as simple bodies of revolution.  The holes can be made a number of different ways...I tried em all:

                    -Hole Wizard

                    -Full 36 hole pattern in sketch, extrude cut through all

                    -One hole in sketch, extrude cut though, then array around axis.



                    Does not matter.  It does not work...


                    Tried to figure out how to use the 'Copy' command which can be accessed by Rt clicking the bolt feature in the Simulation feature tree after it is created.  It does not work.


                    Thanks again.  Maybe you have explained it, and I am just not getting it...but this functionality plain suck.  The really agravating thing...is that it DOES work in Simulation Express.  What a joke....

                      • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
                        Brant Williams

                        More frustration...


                        Eliminate the hole from the part...


                        Use the Assembly hole feature (yeah...I am going to bolt my flanges together...and drill them at the same time in a giant mill...so much for the Mechanical 'intuitiveness of SolidWorks'....), and try to create a hole series from it.  The functionality of the Hole Series tool is totally perplexing...  Also...if I use the assembly hole feature...and then try to use it as an existing hole to create a series...it give an error saying there is nothing to cut!!  Well duh...if there is an existing hole...it is already cut.


                        This software needs to be renamed "SolidWorkAround"...because not until you try the 4th most unintuitive way to something will you be able to do it....

                          • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
                            Brant Williams

                            Can anyone explain how the hell this stupid hole series tool works?  I think I am getting closer.....but after hours and hours I should hope I am....


                            No matter what I do...I can not figure out how to convert an assembly hole wizard feature to a hole series.  Lets say use the assembly hole wizard to create by flange bolt pattern.  Circle...located it...polar array x 36.  Exit...all is good. Right click the hole wizard feature in the assembly feature tree...1st on the menu is 'Create Hole Series;...so far so good.  Here is where is gets messed up.  There are 4 sub tabs.  The initial one has two options...


                            Create new hole

                            Use existing hole...


                            Well...since I have existing holes....I select that.


                            This nice window pops up...with a hole wizard symbol next to it...as if it wants you select a hole wizard feature.  Except it (also) does not work.  Click in the blue area (like you would if you were doing a loft...and were going to pick a sketch for a loft profile),,,and nothing happens.  Expand the FM tree to pick a HW feature...nothing happens when I pick my HW feaute.  Well maybe I can click on the assembly...nope that does not work either....  Here is something really funny to boot...right click on the blue area...and the 'clear selections' options pops up.  Oh...gee...thanks for giving me a way to erase/clear a selection I can not even make.....

                    • Re: Simulation Bolted Assembly - How to copy connectors?
                      Brant Williams

                      Unreal.  Finally got it.


                      The heart of the problem is the hole series functionality.  After seaching a lot of past posts...it seems that hole series 'tool' is a source of constant frustration.  The hole series tool only works one way when you want to create a patterned hole series.


                      1.  Create a sketch of points on the surface you will use as the start surface.  In my case...sketch on back side of flange where bolt head will sit...I drew a point.  Dimensioned it from the center of the flange, and then did a polar array x 36 points.  Close sketch.

                      2.  Start a hole series.  Select 'create new hole series'.  Using the shift key, select each (36) point.  The 'use existing hole' will not work...from what I have found...under any circumstances.  This is a prolbem that goes back to 2004!  If you use the Hole Wizard and then try to convert to a series...it does not work.

                      3.  Follow the remaining steps/tabs to create the series.  Success!


                      Now when you go into Simulation...and add a connector...it will actually ask you to propogate that same bolt through the series!


                      So the KEY...is to pattern the point sketch...then start a hole series...and using the shift key...select all the points.  That is it.  So in reviewing all the pointers so far on this thread...I dont think anyone really explained it in this manner...but thanks for the effort.  It was clear that some of you had made it work...and that is why I kept beating my head against the wall.  Hopefully in the future some will find this thread and save hours and hours of frustration.


                      Oh and Dassalt...you suck...but I am stuck with you.....!